Pragmatic Trial


Health Economics

  • A species of controlled trial. Pragmatic trials measure effectiveness as distinct from efficacy and are not so much concerned with scientific questions of explanation (why something works or does not work) as with the degree of beneficial effect to be expected in real clinical practice. The pragmatic trial thus seeks to maximize external validity. A pragmatic trial is much less likely to use placebo as a comparator procedure than an explanatory trial, since placebo is unlikely in most cases to be a real-world alternative to the technology under review.